Suicide Prevention in Rural Communities

July 31, 2015

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark Research

A Community of Practice convened by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center developed five key recommendations to improve suicide prevention in rural areas: “(1) Train primary care professionals to screen for suicide risk and connect them to referral resources; (2) Use federal, state, or local resources to incentivize mental health professionals to work in rural areas; (3) Strengthen capacity of crisis centers to link to appropriate local resources; (4) Establish protocols on crisis response for the local community, including protocols and alternatives for transportation to hospitals and emergency services or alternate assessment procedures; and (5) Target suicide prevention programming to community or population needs by collaborating with state epidemiologists, universities, and crisis centers to access local data on suicide deaths, attempts, and risk and protective factors.”

This summary is based on: Varia, S., Ebin, J., & Stout, E.R. (2014). Suicide prevention in rural communities: Perspectives from a Community of Practice. Journal of Rural Mental Health 38(2), 109-115.